The Train Ride

Hannah and I left Juneau Alaska last Saturday to start off our well over due vacation together. We have had this trip planned for so long that Hannah had started counting down to the second from when it was time for use to leave.

So we left Juneau bright and early. Our flight made two stops on our way to Chicago. The first was in Sitka Alaska. It was a very short stop. They unloaded the people who wanted to get off at Sitka and loaded all the people who wanted to go to Seattle very quickly. The second stop was in Seattle Washington. Our layover in Seattle was only 2 hours long. But the time flew by because in Seattle we met up with my mom who flew with us from Seattle to Chicago.

So for the first leg of our vacation Hannah and I are currently in Illinois and having a blast with our family. Both my brothers, sister, nephew, and mom are here. We are all staying at my bother Reza’s new house in Aurora. (Party on Wayne! Party on Garth!)

The first day here we took it pretty easy. The house got some Christmas decorations put up and we played a little Ping Pong in the basement.

Train in IllinoisToday (well now Yesterday, but I have not been to bed yet so it feels like today) Abe, Tracy, Hannah and myself got up and took the commuter train from Aurora to the heart of Chicago to see the sights. ChicagoWith Abe as our tour guide we did some shopping and checked out the official Chicago Apple store. We also had dinner at the Hard Rock Café which was a lot of fun. They where playing great music videos the whole time we were there. Here is a picture of our Waiter.

Hard RockWe took the commuter train back to Aurora and drove from the train station back to my brothers house. We all shared our stories back at the house. Most everyone is in bed now. I should go too.

Netflix

Netflix

When I first moved to Juneau Alaska I spent a lot of money on DVDs. It’s kind of crazy when you look at my DVD collection how big it is. I am sure other people have bigger collections then mine, but still. I think mine is pretty impressive.

After the first year of living here, and buying one to many DVDs that I know I will never watch again, I decided to get a Netflix account and have not looked back since. Having a Netflix account has saved me a lot of money by not buying, rather renting the movies I would normally buy. If I get a movie in the mail that I really end up enjoying then I will go out and buy it.

I also feel that having a Netflix account has exposed me to a lot of movie titles I would not normally see. Like indy films and just random goodness that you don’t find when walking into a store or a brick-and-morter movie rental place.

HardDrive Replacement

Hard DriveTwo weeks ago I was sitting down at my PowerBook to do some work. Right away I noticed that my mouse and keyboard were not working. “This isn’t good” I thought to myself. My computer rarely gives me any trouble at all. Upon closer inspection I heard a noise that could sounded close to “the click of death” that pledged old . It’s the type of noise that would make a zit faced Geek Squad rep from Best Buy say “That not a good sound”. From That point i powered down my Powerbook was not able to get it to boot back up again. I would just keep getting that hard drive clicking noise.

It was upsetting at first that my hard drive might be dead but I was very great full that I do nightly backups on my system. (Thank you Silverkeeper)

I spent a good chunk of that first weekend trying to save my drive. With the help of some disk utility software I was able to get my computer to boot back up again. But it was not the same. The whole system was slow and eventlly a few days later the hard drive died.

Powerbook openedSo, I ordered a new hard drive from newegg.com and four days later (it’s because I live in Juneau) I had it installed. Replacing the old hard drive was not as easy with the G4 Powerbook as it was with my G3Powerbook. With the G3 it was just a matter of lifting up the keyboard. With my G4 it required a lot more steps. Just look at this to see what I went through.

Notepad – GTD

Notepad - GTD

For as long as I can remember I have struggled with trying to remember things. Be it work related or personal, it’s always been a struggle for me to remember different things I need to do through out the course of a day. It’s an exosting and stressful task. It does not seem like it but just trying to remember something waists time and stresses you out. Imagine if you didn’t ever have to remember anything. You mind would be free to think freely and wonder around.

Pad

I have recently been able to accomplish this great stress free and mantel freedom. For several months now I have been keeping a notepad with me at all times. I keep it in my back pocket along with a pen in my front pocket. I do this for several resins. One being that I have a really bad memory. I have learned that when I need to remember something for a later time I can just write it down and address it when I can. This practice has already become a habit for me.

Sine doing this you quickly release that you don’t remember things. Even more so when you have a method like this that remembers things for you. Trying to remember things stress you out and you don’t enjoy what is going on around you as much. It’s all part of the whole Getting Things Done methodology. So to help with that I now carry a notepad and pen with me everywhere I go.

If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.” – Edgar Allan Poe

On this notepad I keep two basic lists. an “ACTION” list for things I need to do and a “SHOPPING LIST” for things I need to get at the store. The shopping list came to be because I would always forget my shopping list on the fridge. So to solve that little problem I now carry it with me at all times. The action list if for anything I need to do or be reminded of. Whenever I have a few free moments I will try and accomplish as much as I can on my actions list. Things I can’t accomplished in the time I have available for them I end up transferring to another Action list I have located on Google Notebook to be completed at a later time.

Keyboard and padI know this sounds like a simple solution to a big problem. I mean who doesn’t experience the pain of trying to remember something all day long, only to forget it when they really need to remember it. For me caring a notepad is the great solution I have been able to find. I love the idea of having a PDA to do this. I am a geek after all. It will be very tempting if the roomers of the return of the Apple Newton turn out to be true. But unlike a notepad, PDA’s run out of batteries or you lose the stylist pen and it’s always when you need them the most. This is why I am not a PDA user. (Currently)

So to finish my thought, at least once a day I go though my action items. If anything on the list takes 2 minutes or less I just do them. If it takes longer and I don’t have time to address it right then and there I then copy over the action item to Google Notebook.

Just form my experience I can tell you that I’m able to just come home from work and not worry about anything. It’s all written down and in a place I can execute it when I have time. Nothing to remember, and nothing to worry about forgetting.

Another thing I want to bring up are pens. I never could find the right pen. I think I struggled with this more then anything. I enjoy writing. Even if it’s just a quick note. Because of a friends suggestion I discovered the “Uni-ball Vision ELITE” pen. I find it writes very well and I have not been swayed by any other pen for months now. I keep this pen in my front pocket at all times. So I always have something to write on and something to write with.

Home Office (Sort-of)

homeoffice.png

Yesterday when I got home from work Hannah and I went to work on the spare bedroom turning it into a home office. Well more like a home office / spare bedroom / storage place. It actually turned out really well and I like how Hannah has hung up some of her posters. I think the room will grow a little bit with us. Will see I am sure. But, for now I am happy with how it turned out. I am glad to finally have a place to work and read that is away from the T.V.

I was able to setup up my computer and have it do back ups and install the newest Mac OS X update (10.4.7) while we finished putting things in order. Later that night Chris came over to show me his idea of a wiki that he set up for work called iFolder. The application is kind of cool but it’s way over kill for what we need at work which is just a documentation tool. A strait up wiki. Sometimes I don’t understand how he thinks. But I guess I should focus on the bright side which is, now we have a central place to put our documentation.

I am still working to restore my blog back to it’s glory. I again switched the blogging engine I am using and I am very please with how this one has been working out. You will notice every few days that I adding older posts. I have quite a few to add but I will get them up in time. Between this website, The H Corner website, and Voted Down website, it’s just a matter of time till it gets done.

Hannah has been job hunting and getting things in order at the collage. We are going to try to see Superman Returns on Saturday. I hope that the weather is good this weekend so we can walk around town and check out some of the parks.

Microsoft Surface


A few weeks ago I saw on line a new product from Microsoft called “Microsoft Surface“. Granted it’s a neat product but from I have questioned it’s practicality. I however did not spend to much time thinking about it until I saw the video above the other day.

I do think interacting with the display is the future for computers. I think it’s going to eliminate the keyboard and mouse. But like the video suggests, I don’t believe this will be in the form of a table. The five cameras required for the Microsoft Surface to track your hand movements i think sounds a little obsolete when compared to other products i have seen like the Apple iPhone.

But if anything I hope that posting this video made you laugh.

Rights

Lets talk about rights for just a minute here. Lets say i go to the store, and lets say I buy one hundred copies of Lenny Kravitz Latest CD. I don’t think anyone would argue that if I was to throw my money away like that, it’s with in my rights to do so. In fact i think their would be a lot of grateful people out in the world knowing that their are one hundred less copies of his crappy music that could fall in the hands of unsuspecting kids.

Now lets say I take these same one hundred copies of Lenny Kravitz latest CD and use them for target practice. Again, I don’t think anyone would say anything because well, i bough and paid for these CD’s i should be able to do with them what i want.

Same with movies. If i want to buy a copy of Star trek and make a backup copy or put a copy on my iPod i should have that right. So Here.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

BlueRay is going to win out in the end anyway.